A Texas social conservative became an anti-gay extremist and activist after his wife left him for a woman.Â
Attorney Jonathan Saenz reportedly was always a social conservative. In 2011, as his bio reads, Saenz “headed the Liberty Institute offices at the Texas Capitol in Austin where he served as Director of Legislative Affairs and Attorney for Liberty Institute.”Â
But later that year something happened, and Saenz changed jobs,Â becoming the head of a local virulently anti-gay group, Texas Values.
According to an exclusiveÂ report by John Wright at Lone Star Q, just “months before Jonathan Saenz became president of the anti-gay group Texas Values, his wife left him for another woman, according to Hays County district court records obtained by Lone Star Q.”
The revelation could help explain Saenzâ€™s seemingly abrupt transformation from socially conservative lobbyist toÂ homophobic firebrand.
Saenz, a devout Catholic, has been a right-wing operative in Texas for many years â€” working on abortion and religious liberty cases as a staff attorney for the Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute as far back as 2005.
However, it wasnâ€™t until recently that Saenz emerged as one of the stateâ€™s best-known â€” andÂ most extremeÂ â€” anti-LGBT voices.
Court records indicate that Saenzâ€™s ex-wife, Corrine Morris Rodriguez Saenz, is a member of the LGBT community who was dating another woman when she filed for divorce from Saenz in August 2011.
In early 2012, with their divorce still pending, Saenz would take the helm of Texas Values after the organization spun off from the Liberty Legal Institute, where heâ€™d risen to chief lobbyist.
In March of last year,Â The New Civil Rights Movement reported on anÂ open anti-gay letter to theÂ Boy Scouts of AmericaÂ signed by over 60 Texas Republican elected officials. The letter, which originally appeared onÂ a website runÂ run by Saenz,Â Texas Values, had been lauded by anti-gay hate group head Tony Perkins.
GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project reports that Saenz has claimed that homosexuality is “dangerous and risky sexual activity that can fiercely jeopardize a person’s well-being,” and has said thatÂ marriage equality will lead to people marrying their own stepchildren.Â
“My heart breaks for you,” GLAAD reports Saenz saying, “if you are currently choosing to live a sinful sexual lifestyle while also trying to convince others that it is also okay to live a sinful lifestyle without making any efforts to change or resist sin and temptation. You can make a decision today to ‘go and sin no more.’ It’s not too late. It’s never too late.”
Wright’s extensive and thorough exposÃ© exposes some of the hate and homophobia exhibited by Saenz.
Corrine Saenz, Jonathan’s now ex-wife, in 2011Â “sought to modify” a court order barring her girlfriend, Ercilia M.Â Paredes, “from having contact with the Saenzesâ€™ children,” Wright reports.
â€œMs. Paredes is not a threat to the children or their welfare,â€ the motion stated. â€œThe injunction against Ms. Paredes is an extreme attempt to merely further control Corrine M. Saenz.â€
Corrine Saenz also alleged that Jonathan Saenzâ€™s Motion for Enforcement contained â€œpatently false allegations in an attempt to further harass and burden [her].â€
In addition to seeking the order barring Paredes from being around the children, Jonathan Saenzâ€™s attorney made discovery requests and issued subpoenas seeking information about Corrine Saenzâ€™s relationship with her girlfriend.
In one discovery request, Jonathan Saenzâ€™s attorney sought all records related to â€œtravel, entertainment, meals or gifts with or for Ercimin Paredes.â€ Another discovery request sought any photos or videos showing Paredes with Corrine Saenz and the Saenzesâ€™ children.
“Both Corrine and Jonathan Saenz agreed to psychological evaluations as part of the divorce, but results arenâ€™t included in the case file,” Wright reports. “However, court records suggest Jonathan Saenz had a prior history of mental health treatment. During discovery in the divorce, Jonathan Saenz sought to compel his ex-wife to produce all records in her possession ‘pertaining to the psychiatric, psychological, counseling or other mental health treatments of Jonathan Saenz, including but not limited to any documents relating to any consultations or treatments during their marriage.'”
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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies
Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.
Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.
Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”
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